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We have a surprising victory for the Mazda CX-5 to celebrate over the Hyundai Tucson. The 2023 Mazda CX-5 might be starting to show its age, but it doesn’t matter. It still outranks the recently refreshed 2023 Hyundai Tucson. 

2023 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2023 Hyundai Tucson 

White 2023 Mazda CX-5 SUV parked in front of a barn
2023 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

Have you looked into the 2023 Hyundai Tucson recently? It’s one attractive remodeled SUV with comfort, convenience, and advanced tech. But it still comes in second place against the 2023 Mazda CX-5

The CX-5 was last redesigned back in 2016, while the Tucson is still flexing the fresh updates it received in 2022. But the older CX-5 must be doing something right because it ranks as the best compact SUV to buy, with a score of 8.7 out of 10. 

U.S.News ranks the Tucson in second place with a score of 8.5 out of 10. The rankings are based on information provided by respected automotive critics and third-party data from newspapers, magazines, and online outlets. 

Each vehicle gets a score based on its performance, interior, comfort, quality, reliability, tech, cargo space, towing power, safety ratings, and awards. So, basically, each vehicle receives an average ranking based on how it performs across the entire industry. 

Why does the CX-5 outrank the Tucson? 

The 2023 Mazda CX-5 ranks highly for having responsive handling, a peppy acceleration, a premium interior, and a long list of standard features. But it lacks cargo space and doesn’t have a touchscreen. 

Meanwhile, the 2023 Hyundai Tucson provides a spacious, upscale interior with a poised ride and handling. It comes with tons of standard features and gets a good fuel economy. But it lacks power. 

With the CX-5, the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine cranks out 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. But you can upgrade to the turbocharged 2.7-liter engine for up to 256 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. 

The Tucson has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 187 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. But the 1.6-liter four-cylinder hybrid Tucson has 226 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The gas-powered engine takes over 10 seconds to reach 60 mph, and the hybrid gets there in 7.7 seconds. 

While the CX-5 gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and up to 30 mpg on the highway, the Tucson gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and up to 30 mpg on the highway. 

The Tucson provides 38.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat with up to 80.3 cubes overall. The CX-5 provides 29.1 cubic feet in the rear with up to 59.3 cubes total. 

Does the Tucson or CX-5 have more value? 

A red 2023 Hyundai Tucson compact SUV model driving in the suburbs near a crosswalk
2023 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai Motor America

Both the 2023 Mazda CX-5 and the 2023 Hyundai Tucson have the same MSRP of $26,700. However, the CX-5 has more standard features like LED headlights, keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. 

The CX-5 has standard forward collision warning, blindspot monitoring, lane departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. 

Standard safety features for the Tucson include driver attention warning, forward collision mitigation, rear seat reminder, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. 

The CX-5 ranks higher because it’s sportier, has a higher quality cabin, and has more standard features. But the Tucson provides more passenger and cargo space. Just avoid the weak base engine.

REVIEW: The 2023 Mazda CX-5 Just Got Another Win Against Rivals